Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do
Daniel M. Cable
Harvard Business Review Press, 224 pp., $30
Alive at Work contends that employee engagement lags because organizations stifle an important feature of the human brain, the seeking system. This system, Cable explains, is a part of the brain that gives people "the natural impulse to explore our worlds, learn about our environments, and extract meaning from our circumstances." And when we follow these impulses, it releases dopamine, "a neurotransmitter that makes us want to explore more." In his book, Cable shows how organizations have constrained seeking systems since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, how to activate employees' seeking systems, and how leaders can use this change to help employees (and organizations) reach their full potential.
Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed With Any Type of Boss
Wiley, 224 pp., $28
Most leadership books teach you to manage downward. Whether it's a small team, an entire division, or something in between, these books typically focus on showing how to get the most out of people who report to you. But what about the leaders above you? How do you manage your relationships with these individuals, the ones who often have the most influence over your career? How can you better understand your leaders, build lasting relationships, and persuade them to unlock your next opportunity? Managing Up acknowledges that many of us will spend at least as much time following as we do leading in our careers, and it acts as a guide for doing so successfully.